Crossposted to rec.woodworking and rec.crafts.woodturning
Had an intersting experience over the past coupla weeks, and figured I'd
First some history:
I bought a Powermatic 3520 lathe about 5 years ago (thats 3520 - not 3520A).
It was one of the early sreies that had a few problems. Powermatic did a
pretty good job dealing with them, except for one - the banjo was a royal
PITA to move around. It kept getting stuck instead of sliding. Spent a few
months dealing with thier customer suport, and ended up just dealing with
this particualr problem. PITA to use, but they had dealt with other (bigger)
problems, and I wasn't doing too much turning, so......
Fastforward to about 3 weeks ago. Picked up a Dewalt portable planer. Great
machine, but it was missing the screws for the dust port. The port would
more or less hang on for a bit, but was unstable, and just one more thing to
watch out for when planing (I hate parts that bounce around). Called their
customer support line on a Thursday, got hung up on a few times, but ended
up talking to a person, and was assured that the screws were on thier way.
Because the planer was down, I decided to catch up on some turning (and test
out Art Ransoms tool rests). The banjo finally pissed me off enough that I
called Powermatic customer service again on Wednesday (6 days after I called
dewalt). Spoke to thier front line support, got told that the warranty was
way gone, but because it was a problem when it *was*
under warranty, I
should talk to the product manager. Got his phone #, he was on vacation for
a week, but his voicemail pointed to another guy. Left *him*
a call back thursday, explained the history, and what the problem was, and
he said he'd "look into it and get back to me" (I consider this a danger
sign...). The next day (Friday), I got a call from a young lady who wanted
to know my shipping address so they could send me a new Banjo....
About this time I realized that I hadn't heard back from Dewalt, but I was
pretty busy, so I didn't get time to call them until the following Tuesday.
Its been 12 days since the screws were "on thier way". It took 3 tries to
get through (get the "press X system, walk through too many options, sit on
hold for 5-10 minutes, and as soon as the person on the other end picks up,
the line gets disconnected). Finally get a person, explain whats going on,
and ask if theres a way to see what's up with the package. He starts out be
telling me that *his*
planer works fine without the screws, and that I
shouldn't be having any problems. I explain that loose parts are not an
option in my shop, and get put on hold. After a pretty good runaround, he
says that the order was "put into the system" on the day after I called, but
that because it was a Friday, it wasn't processed until Monday, and it took
a little while to get orders packaged and shipped. If it was such a big
deal, I should have requested overnight shipping. I pointed out that because
the screw up was on thier end, I had sort of assumed that they would be
doing their best to fix the situation as quickly as possible. I give him
credit for not actually laughing out loud..... He claimed that they should
arrive by Thursday, and if they didn't I should call him again, and he'd
express mail me a set to arrive Friday. They did actually arrive Thursday,
with a tuesday postmark. Coincidence? maybe, but I don't think so. so, it
takes 2 weeks, and 2 phone calls (6-8 if you count the hold-and-drops) to
get them to send something that should have been in the package in the first
I don't think I'll be buying any more dewalt products for a long time.
Powermatic has its problems, but they are responsive, and at least follow
up. Dewalt is more like the old Ma Bell.....